HELMUT BISCHOFF (March 1, 1908 – January 5, 1993) was a German SS-
* 1 Early life
* 3 V-weapons security chief
* 4 Post-war
* 4.1 Essen-Dora trial
* 5 References
Bischoff was born on March 1, 1908 in the town of Glogau in the
Province of Silesia , then a part of the
It was during his time as a law student that Bischoff first became active in the Nazi movement . He joined the Nazi Party in March, 1930 (Member # 203 122) and the Sturmabteilung (SA) in 1933. After receiving his doctorate of jurisprudence (Dr. jur.) in 1934, Bischoff returned to his native Lower Silesia where he apprenticed as an assessor at the district court offices in Schweidnitz and Strehlen . During this time Bischoff also functioned as an agent (vertrauensmann) of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), Nazi Party's intelligence service.
After qualifying as a lawyer, Bischoff joined the
in November, 1935 (SS # 272 403). After undergoing military and police
training he was assigned to the
During the September, 1939 invasion of
On September 27, 1939 Bischoff and his Einsatzkommando played a leading role in the raid on the town of Pułtusk , which ended with the brutal mass-expulsion of the town's large Jewish population and their deportation across the Narew River into the now Soviet-occupied east. Einsatzgruppe IV was also involved in the round-up of Warsaw\'s Jewish inhabitants, setting in motion their eventual ghettoization .
Einsatzgruppe IV was formally disbanded on November 20, 1939. Its officers and men were stationed in the Polish General Government and converted into stationary units of the Sicherheitspolizei (security police) in Warsaw, under the command of SS- Standartenführer Josef Albert Meisinger .
POZNAń AND MAGDEBURG
In August, 1940 Bischoff was reassigned to the newly-annexed
While primarily a detention center,
Bischoff was promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer
(lieutenant colonel) in September, 1941 and later returned to Germany
, where he had been appointed commandant of the
Sicherheitspolizei (KdS) for the city of
Hundreds of German Jews were deported from
V-WEAPONS SECURITY CHIEF
In December, 1943 Bischoff was transferred to the SS-Main Economic and Administrative Office (SS-WVHA) and assigned to the general staff of SS-Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler , ostensibly as a representative of the Ministry of Armaments . Kammler was the director of Amtsgruppe C (Buildings and Works) of the SS-WVHA. This department was concerned primarily with the extensive engineering and construction projects of the SS.
This included the building of factories and other manufacturing facilities for Germany's various secret weapons programs . The sensitive nature of these projects made their security a major concern for Kammler's SS department. He appointed Bischoff "defense officer" for one such highly-secretive project: Germany\'s V-weapons program. As the chief of security Bischoff managed counter-intelligence operations designed to conceal the missile production industry's existence from Allied intelligence . He was also responsible for preventing organized attempts by prisoner-laborers to sabotage the V-weapons during the assembly process.
Much of Germany’s V-1 flying bombs and
V-2 ballistic missiles were
In February, 1944 numerous police and security services operating in
the Nordhausen district (which surrounded
Mittelbau-Dora's Politische Abteilung (political department) had much of the resistance leadership among the camp's Russian , French and Communist inmates rounded up in November, 1944 and interned in solitary confinement . Many of those taken into custody were interrogated under torture with some later being executed.
In February, 1945 the SS administration of
In response to reports of a planned escape attempt Bischoff took part
in a wave of mass-executions in March, 1945 which saw hundreds of the
camp's prisoners, mostly Soviet POWs , killed in a series of
mass-hangings . Much of the surviving leadership of the camp's
resistance organizations were also shot by firing squad prior to the
Following the German defeat Bischoff fled to
In January, 1950 Bischoff was determined to be a war criminal and
deported by the Soviets to a German POW camp located in
On November 17, 1967 Bischoff and two other former SS officers who
had served with him at
The trial (known as the Essen-Dora Process ) began in November, 1967
and would continue for two and a half years. The proceedings included
the testimony of over 300 witnesses, among them former Nazi Armaments
Albert Speer and the famed inventor of the
V-2 rocket ,
Wernher von Braun
On May 5, 1970 the case against Bischoff was postponed by the court due to reasons of his poor health . He was thus able to avoid being formally convicted of war crimes. The case against Bischoff was dropped on the grounds that:
"If the main hearings were to be continued, there were serious grounds for assuming that the defendant ... would be accused of being guilty of murder in a manner which, according to experts, would lead to an excessive rise of blood pressure."
Other efforts to prosecute Bischoff for his wartime activities also
met with little success. An investigation by the district court of
West Berlin into his involvement with the
Einsatzgruppen killings in
* ^ Jens-Christian Wagner:Produktion des Todes: Das KZ Mittelbau-Dora, Göttingen 2001, S. 666. * ^ Ernst Klee: The Encyclopedia of persons to the Third Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Who was that before and after 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 2005, S. 51. Penguin Books, second edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 51. * ^ Ernst Klee: The Encyclopedia of persons to the Third Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Who was that before and after 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 2005, S. 51. Penguin Books, second edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 51. * ^ hospital Owinska and